Passively Constructed Defensive Gun Use of the Day: Turtle’s Nest Edition

Michael McAuliffe (courtesy

“While guarding a turtle’s nest, Tamarac’s Stan Pannaman got shot with his own gun Friday night,” reports. Nope. This isn’t a story about a negligent discharge. Well, actually, it may be. You be the judge. “According to Broward Sheriff’s Office, the 72-year-old Pannaman and Fort Lauderdale’s Doug Young, 77, both members of the South Florida Audubon Society, went to the Lauderdale-by-the-Sea beach to watch over a turtle egg nest. They encountered Michael McAuliffe [above] and a confrontation ensued.” Keep in mind that McAuliffe is 38-yeards-old with a rap sheet for . . .

beating-up old people: “The most recent of McAuliffe’s three felony convictions included two counts of battery on a person 65 or older.” Not to mention a misdemeanor conviction for indecent exposure.

OK. Got the picture? Two nature-loving septuagenarians hit the beach at night to guard a turtle’s nest. They bump into a convicted felon with a tendency to beat up old folks and show people his private parts. And then, according to  . . .

“There was a man sitting on a bench at the entrance of the beach who was giving off profanity,” said Young, 64, of Tamarac. “He got up and went toward one of the nests and very aggressively started pulling the stakes out.”

According to the Sheriff’s Office, McAuliffe hit Young and then Pannaman pulled out a gun.

“In an attempt to de-escalate the situation, Pannaman pulled a gun out of his pocket,” a sheriff’s statement said. McAuliffe, undeterred, took the gun away from Pannaman, the agency said.

Young told the Sun Sentinel that Pannaman pointed the gun at the man as he explained that disrupting a sea turtle nest is a felony and he’d better stop.

Young said that Pannaman had put the gun back in his pocket. But then McAuliffe approached Young and hit him. The trio began wrestling, he said. And then McAuliffe had the gun.

“He said, ‘I’m going to shoot,'” Young said.

Pannaman turned quickly enough that the bullet hit him in the left hip, Young said. “The guy freaked out when he saw the wound,” Young said, recalling McAuliffe throwing the gun into the sand. “He was saying, ‘I can’t believe I did this. I can’t believe I did this.'”

The fact that Mr. McAuliffe announced his intention to shoot is the clearest example of premeditation as you’re ever going to get. And yet McAuliffe’ incredulity and decision to wait for the police to show up tells us something. I have no idea what.

Let’s just say the turtle antagonist is bound to  have some time to write about his experiences, what with being charged with two counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, one count each for possession of a weapon by a convicted felon and battery on a person 65 or older. Again.


  1. avatar DownrangeFuture says:

    Well, if you draw your weapon you should be ready to use it. That includes retention. Kudos for being armed, but not every criminal runs away at the mere sight of armed resistance. Some people are just crazy.

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      Ya, retention, ’cause you can’t get your gun back if you’re wasting all your time trying to not get your ammo back.

    2. avatar JQPub says:

      haha beat me to it. I can just hear his instructor yelling at the TV: ‘Dammit Pannaman – retention, retention!’

  2. avatar Joe R. says:

    Again, Still. I think the lines are blurred between this blog, and an as- yet to be created blog called:

    And a possible ancillary site:

    1. avatar CTstooge says:


      1. avatar Joe R. says:

        Touche’, sir.

        1. avatar Colt Magnum says:

          Touche’ Turtle!

    2. avatar Jordan says:

      In pirate accent. “Sea turtles mate.”

      1. All I could think of, why aren’t the turtles defending themselves…

  3. avatar SD3 says:

    That story has 4 levels of stupid attached to it.

  4. avatar Ralph says:

    “In an attempt to de-escalate the situation, Pannaman pulled a gun out of his pocket.”

    Wait — what?

    1. avatar Lone Ranger says:

      My thoughts exactly. They were clearly “well meaning” and equally clueless. Nobody’s life is in danger if this criminal destroys a turtle nest. Turn on your cell phone, call the cops and then record the bastard while waiting for them to show up.

      Now if at that point he tries to take your cell phone away or otherwise assault you, THEN draw your gun but you better be prepared to use it.

    2. avatar Shwiggie says:

      No kidding: de-escalation != firearm presentation. But it’s because people think of a gun as a magic talisman whose mere presentation wards off evil. Don’t even bother drawing if you don’t intend to fire the thing. If the other guy wants to turn about and saturate the vicinity with his absence in that brief interim, then good for him, but he don’t merit being gifted with a sporting chance.

  5. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    “two counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, one count each for possession of a weapon by a convicted felon and battery on a person 65 or older.”

    What? No charge for attempted murder? He could have killed the dude.

    Bottom line, as I see it: There was no imminent threat of death or grave bodily harm to Pannaman or his buddy before he brought the gun into the picture. Pannaman escalated the situation by pulling his gun when he should have called the cops. You don’t use a gun to defend turtles.

    1. avatar Aaron says:

      he was defending the other old timer

    2. avatar Chris. says:

      While it appears that way from first glance – based on the reported story — you know how often the media spins things. I think you need to give this guy the benefit of the doubt; For all we know the “felon” was already hostile & threatening to hurt the volunteers, when the gun was produced.

      But yes, like others have stated don’t show the gun unless you’re willing & ready to use it; because if it doesn’t defuse the situation – You have just escalated.

    3. avatar barnbwt says:

      Is turt-rustling a forcible felony?

    4. avatar Sian says:

      Aggressive, belligerent man half their age? They had no way of knowing he had a history of assaulting elders, but I have a feeling his attitude made his proclivities clear. Could legitimately draw for self defense against a threat like that.

  6. avatar Aaron says:

    jesus, old timer, just SHOOT already!

    i bet Pannaman drives slow in the left lane with his turn signal on for miles.

  7. avatar neiowa says:

    72yr = SS recipient = under his newly announce plan Obumer is going to solve Pannaman’s gun retention problem.

  8. avatar Aaron says:

    can McAuliff use the “but turtle soup tastes good” defense?

  9. avatar Hoplopfheil says:

    “There was a man sitting on a bench at the entrance of the beach who was giving off profanity,”

    I give off profanity regularly. I emit a miasma of general profanity.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      “Profanity, by Calvin Klein”

    2. avatar Aaron says:

      maybe some soap would help…

  10. avatar MotoJB says:

    Get a rope…

  11. avatar Alan Longnecker says:

    We used to hang rustlers in this country.
    Maybe not turtle rustlers, but, …

  12. avatar WaynefromFL says:

    The repeat felon had a violent rapsheet and he was continously allowed to wander the streets.

  13. avatar iCONOCLAST says:

    Shoulda been a defensive gun use……. wait, what?

    1. avatar Paul G says:

      Should have been OCing. CCer gets disarmed and shot with his own weapon.
      The visual presence of the OC weapon would likely have prevented the confrontation.

      1. avatar barnbwt says:

        Eh, more like ‘idiot brandisher is disarmed.’ The perp is clearly mentally…not good, so I wouldn’t hinge possibilities on his judgment. However, an old man who draws a gun (lethal force) to protect turtle eggs is not exactly exercising best judgment, either. The only real preventative measure for the altercation would be for the no good turt-rustler have been kept behind bars for his previous violent crimes. He clearly had not reformed one iota (again, likely because he is a ‘differently abled’ meathead)

  14. avatar barnbwt says:

    Stupid things in stupid places (guarding turtle eggs easily qualifies)

    Hopefully Mr. Mcauliffe (no relation, I assume) will receive the lobotomy he so desperately needs, and hopefully the Florida justice system will finally recognize he is a wild animal to be controlled hereafter.

  15. avatar Mark Lloyd says:

    Sheesh, where to go with this one! I’m leaning towards thinking that it’s too bad the old farts didn’t put a round in that guys skull and do everyone a favor.

    1. avatar Aaron says:

      i’m torn, too. i hate meth heads who beat up oldees. but i also hate old hippees, and stupid turtles.

  16. avatar Hannibal says:

    ““In an attempt to de-escalate the situation, Pannaman pulled a gun out of his pocket,” a sheriff’s statement said. McAuliffe, undeterred, took the gun away from Pannaman…”

    No “A for effort” awarded.

  17. avatar DaveL says:

    And here I thought “guarding the turtle’s nest” was going to be some new euphemism from

  18. avatar Wiregrass says:

    Somebody’s been scanning WTF Florida.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email